Hell on Wheels: The Complete Fourth Season
Review by Suzanne Lanoue
This is good, but it's also very uneven.
That might have something to do with why they keep changing
the showrunners and writers.
I'd never watched it before, so I watched
the very first episode. I enjoyed it, but I felt that even
though they took great pains to make the show look like the
old west, the characters were too modern, and in predictable
ways. For instance, the protagonist, who is very likable, is
a Southerner bent on revenge for the rape and murder of his
wife, and the murder of his child. Yet to make him a
little more palatable, they take great pains to assure us
that while he is a Southerner and a former slave owner, he
set his slaves free a year before the war started, at the
behest of his wife, a Northerner. Also, he paid them a wage.
Well, that seems pretty far-fetched. Then to make it even
more obvious, the villain in the first episode uses the N
word copiously. Although I love the actor who played him
(Ted Levine), and he played it with great relish, the
character was written very badly.
I think all of the actors do a great job,
and I liked the show enough to want to keep watching. I
watched this fourth season after reading up a little on what
progressed in the First, Second and Third seasons, so I
wouldn't be lost.
When the Fourth season starts, Cullum has
been taken prisoner and is living with Mormons (who were
very different from the Mormons we know now). I really
enjoyed the DVD most of the way through, even though it had
a lot of gratuitous violence. I liked the new characters,
especially the one played by Jake Weber, who's one of my
However, the season really stalled when they
finally showed Elam again. They focused a whole episode on
his time with the Indians, and then another episode about
his returning to Cheyenne. The show actually drags badly at
this point, and I found myself fast-forwarding through
After that, the show got back to normal. It
really lost focus this season (although I did enjoy it). I
hope in season five it gets back to the great show I know it
can be. The show is best when it focuses on building the
I watch a lot of other western shows like
"Longmire," "Justified," and "Deadwood." This one is not as
good as any of those, but it reminds me a bit of "Deadwood."
It has great characters and is very compelling most of the
Despite these shortcomings, I liked it
enough that I plan to not only watch season 5 but to go back
and watch the other seasons.
There are a lot of great features on the
DVD, which are worth watching. I recommend the DVD because
not only is it a good chunk of this interesting western
saga, but the extras are enjoyable for any fan.
As the fifth and final season of
WHEELS begins airing
on AMC, dive into the powerful and
compelling fourth season, arriving on
blu-ray and DVD this August.
"Railroads may not seem sexy,
but this series brings a
There Will Be Blood aesthetic
to episodic TV."
-- Wall Street Journal
HELL AIN'T CIVILIZED...
ABOARD FOR EPIC WESTERN DRAMA AS AMC'S TRANSCONTINENTAL
JOURNEY CONTINUES WITH
LATEST GRITTY DVD INSTALLMENT
WHEELS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
Date: August 11, 2015
Blu-Ray/DVD SRP: $49.98/$39.98
Anson Mount and Colm Meaney Co-Star in AMC's Top-Rated
4-Disc BD or DVD Collector's Sets Features All 13 Episodes
Numerous Extras Including Set Tours, Featurettes and More
Season 4 Trailer
premiered in 2011, HELL
was credited for helping to modernize the Western genre.
"Imbued with epic sweep",
the series tells the story of post-Civil War America and of
Cullen Bohannon (Anson
Mount), a soldier who sets out to exact revenge
on the Union soldiers who have
killed his wife. When his journey takes him west to
Wheels, a lawless melting pot of a
town that travels with and services the construction of the
railroad, the lavishly-produced series gathers steam, and
introduced characters and plotlines that have helped the
Western drama become one of AMC's top-rated series -- and
underscores just how uncivilized the business of
civilization can be.
Season Three of HELL
ended with Cullen married to a pregnant Naomi and living in
a Mormon fort where the Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) was
impersonating church leader, Bishop Dutson; Thomas "Doc"
Durant (Colm Meaney) back in control of the Union Pacific
Railroad which had successfully expanded westward to
Cheyenne; and Elam (Common), gravely injured by a bear while
searching for the missing Cullen. And, as
WHEELS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
unfolds on blu-ray and DVD
exclusively from Entertainment One (eOne), civilization
makes its way west with the railroad, bringing with it men
who attempt to do with their pens what rougher men did in
seasons past with their guns. Conflict between government
and big business, ranchers, homesteaders and the railroad
will continue to define the drama as all of those interests
compete with one another for control of Cheyenne,
Wyoming, the "Magic City of the Plains", and the most
important railroad hub in the country.
Mount (Non-Stop, Straw Dogs, "Seal Team Six: The
Raid on Osama Bin Laden")
Meaney (The Conspirator, Get Him to the Greek)
(Just Wright, Date Night)
Dominique McElligott (Moon, The Philanthropist)
at Season 4
New Characters of Season 4
Cheyenne Set Tour
On the Set with Colm Meaney
On the Set with Jake Weber
Blu-Ray (4 Discs)/DVD (4 Discs)
Time: 556 mins.
Ratio: 6x9 (1.78:1)
(Blu-Ray)DTS-HD Master Audio/(DVD) 5.1 Surround Sound
Language: English w/SDH subtitles
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Page updated 8/13/15
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